Why do I need an ATOS medical

Sioux Jordan made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Department for Work and Pensions.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I am a 55 year old disabled woman with several long term illnesses and a spinal disability I have been found unfit for work by my General Practitioner, my Orthopaedic Consultants, both of whom state I will never be fit for
work, and the Incapacity Benefits Doctor for the last 10 years.

Illness/Disability

Congenital Abnormality of the Spine including: muscle, ligament, disc damage, loss of curvature in neck (as not diagnosed until 47 yrs old). Under care of Mr Hynes and Mr Blackman, Colchester General Hospital and Doc Tarala GP.

Osteo-Arthritis in spine and limbs

Sciatica (both legs)

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome: Under care of Dr Tara Kipling, Psychologist, Pain Management Dept. Essex County Hospital

Chronic Depression/Anxiety/Panic attacks

Loss of hearing in left ear

Excema in both ears

Vertigo

Dysplastic Naevus Syndrome: 12 moles removed – none malignant so far.

Hypertension

M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

Head Injury from car crash and assault

Asthma (allergic reaction)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Migraines

Operations on spine
L4/5 wallis device
C4/5 replacement rotating metal disc

The medication I take is:

Venlafaxine 150 mg 2 daily

Spironolactone 100 mg 1 daily

Enalapril 5 mg 1 daily

Lyrica 75 mg 1 twice daily

Betahistine Hydrochloride 16 mg 1 times three daily

Zopiclone 3.75 mg 2 at night

Tramadol HCL SR 150 mg 1-2 four times daily

Co-Codamol 500mgs 1 - 2 four timesdaily

Salbutamol 100 mc 2 doses when required

Beclazone 100 mc 2 doses x twice daily

Otomize Ear Spray 5 ml 2 drops x three daily

Sodium Picosulfate 5 mg/ml 1-2 5mi teaspoon at night

Fexofenadine 180 mg 1 at night

I am currently in receipt of Incapacity Benefit for life, DLA high rate mobility and DLA high rate care, I receive a severe disability payment in my Income Support Benefit to ensure I receive the amount of money that "they" assess I need to live on.

Having read several documents (carewatch.com, DPAC, Right To Work etc) and having listened to several Conservative and Liberal Democrat Ministers it seems to me that there is a possibility that I could be found capable of work by ATOS employees who carry out the new ESA Medical Test.

How is it that the evidence from my General Practitioner, my
Consultant, the Incapacity Benefits Doctor, The 3 MRI's reports and several x-rays will be ignored and I will have to go through this stressful, humiliating process, which will have a derogatory effect on my health?

Yours faithfully,
Sioux Blair-Jordan

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

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DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Sioux Blair-Jordan

Please find attached the DWP's response to your FoI request.

Kind regards

Central FoI Team

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J Newman left an annotation ()

Dear Souix, somebody needs to apologise for the unsympathetic and insensitive tone of this reply - ironic given the promises Chris Grayling is making. Although I am not familiar with the details, there are extreme medical conditions were various short-cuts are available to minimise the stresses and strains that worry you. This includes not needing a face-to-face interview at all. Unfortunately despite this, a good proportion of Atos employees are heavy-handed. It is also possible to have the assessment performed at home.
If you don't mind a bit of reading I can send you the WCA manual or you could speak to someone at DPAC who will know a lot more than me.

Name removed 30 November 2012 (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I am confused. We are led to belive that people will be treated as individuals, but will all be subject to the same compuerised medical assessment.

How can a 'health professional' who is not a qualified Consultant in any given field, be allowed to override a Consultant's diagnosis in relation to a person's ability to work.

Work is 'good for you' the Response states.

It was 'work' that caused me extreme ill health in 2008, that has had a lasting effect on my mental health; which was already fragile due to a tragic life event. Each time I am faced with a situation similar to that which caused me ill health to begin with, I find the same frightening feelings returning, as if they are happening all over again.

How can the female who sat on her computer who saw me in December 2009, know how I 'feel'. She did not even ask me, because when I began to talk about the 'work' situation, I could not stop crying.

But hey ho - this same female, recorded that I was a female of normal build (I am not) of normal mood.

I think the whole things is quite disturbing.

J Newman left an annotation ()

Indeed it is . . . . and worse. There are however so many gaps & flaws, well constructed appeals can be successful. Not the right answer I know, but the only route at the moment. Much of this was designed by the last Labour Government, although they are now too embarrassed to admir it.

Name removed 30 November 2012 (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Yes you are right most of this was brought about by New Labour.

But since the Con has been in power, they have changed various laws ... and rules

but interstingly - not this one.

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Thank you for your response to my FOI request. I am late in replying due to the fact I have been locked out of my email account and could not access my emails and also that I have been too ill to cope with getting it sorted.

I feel that the person replying to my request has failed to appreciate the impact of my long term health, illnesses and my disabilities or the medication I am taking and the impact of that on me. I feel that they have merely written out a formatted response using language that I do not fully comprehend, stated regulations that mean nothing to me as I do not have a copy of the Welfare Reform Act 2007, have stated facts widely known and therefore is condescending in manner by stating the obvious in parts.

I asked specific questions relating to my conditions and disabilities and was given in reply the format of the machinations of the Welfare Reform Act 2007 and its regulations, which probably do have context to my questions but not in the way they are presented in the reply.

The respondent did not tell me why when I have DLA high rate care and mobility for Life, Incapacity Benefit for Life, the Severe Disability payment and have been found unfit for work, in that i do not function at a level that would make me employable, by the Incapacity Doctors over the last 10+years (in face to face medicals), my GP's, and Orthopaedic Consultants I have to have the ATOS so called medical questionnaire.

I have attended an ATOS Medical Assessment with a friend as their supporter and in no way is it a medical, in no way does it address the needs of the disabled and long term sick in general let alone mine. No ESA50 was issued beforehand either nor was any medical evidence looked at even though it was taken.

How can ATOS assess via a questionnaire whether to call me in for a face to face interview when the government states that this is what is wrong with the Incapacity Benefit and DLA process in the first place?

Are all the HCP's, which I am presuming means health care professional's, Doctors sufficiently trained to understand and deal with the functional effects of all of my long term illnesses and disabilities?

The respondent states that a more accurate assessment has led to more claimants being found fit for work - I know this to be untrue and that many of these people are now on emergency benefit while waiting for an appeal to be heard, that some people have recovered from there illness because the process has taken so long and therefore withdrawn their claims, that some people have died or committed suicide because of the process and their claims have been withdrawn. Work is generally good for your health if you are
a)emotionally and physically fit enough to cope with having a job and all that entails
b) can actually get someone to employ you when most business premises are not fit for a disabled person to work in
c) there are suitable jobs which suit your functionality to work, disability/illness.

If I was able to work I would be. I started doing jobs from the age of 11 yrs old to earn money, working full time from the age of 17 years old when I left college until the age of 42/3 years old. I was the main bread winner for my family for almost 10 years and was medically retired from my job I didn't just decide to stop working. It was because of my work that I became ill and it was because of the NHS that I went undiagnosed with a congenital abnormality of the spine for 47 years, despite constant visits to GP's and A&E Departments on a monthly basis through the years, by which time there was very little that could be done to repair the damage. The operations that I have undergone have led to further problems so that I am infact worse off than when I started.

Yours sincerely,

Sioux Jordan

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct. 

Should you also have any further queries in connection with this request
do please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Blair-Jordan,

Please see attached response to your FoI request

Kind regards

DWP Central FoI Team

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J Newman left an annotation ()

This is about the best you will get through this route, I'm afraid. There are severe conditions where a Decision Maker will not request a WCA, so there must be a list of these somewhere. WCAs can be arranged at your home too, but you have to ask.

Paul Smith left an annotation ()

I found these words to be rather interesting?

"As well as this difference in emphasis within the assessment process,
the HCP will, when giving an opinion, be aware of the law relating to benefit entitlement. A
Specialist on the other hand is less likely to be familiar with Social Security Legislation."

"be aware of the law relating to benefit entitlement."

Why should there be a need for a HCP to have any Knowledge of benefit entitlement? If the role of a Atos HCP is to define someones finctionability then it shouldn';t be needed, on the other hand if the purpose of the HCP was to fail people attending an assessment to save the government money then? We have the answer?